Kayaking a Washington waterway trail

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of November 13-19, 1997
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Elephantback touring through Nepal
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Kayaking a Washington waterway trail

Kayaking a Washington waterway trail
Question: Where can I go sea kayaking in the San Juan Islands?

Randal Monge
Eastsound, WA

Adventure Adviser: Almost anywhere, but if you want to combine your trip with a wonderful combination of cozy lodges and rugged campsites evenly spaced throughout your trip, try the Cascadia Marine Trail.

Though it sounds kind of bizarre to call it a waterway trail, this new concept is becoming increasingly popular across the United States — almost two dozen marine trails exist nationwide.

The Cascadia Trail is 160 miles long with 35 campsites and 30 waterfront inns. Though you can start anywhere you'd like along the trail, an excellent choice would be the 27-mile chunk from Boston Harbor and around Hartstene Island, but this may be a little too far south for the San Juans.

Farther north, however, the trail does wind its way around the San Juans, but be prepared for more crowds here, especially in the summer months. For information about any section of the trail or for your own set of coastal maps and tide tables, call Northwest Outdoor Center in Seattle (206-281-9694). The center also rents kayaks for $40 to $60 per day.

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